Thursday, December 17, 2009

just asking...

What do you eat for Christmas morning? I need some ideas. Some really, really good ideas.

Christmas eve is covered. But I've never needed a morning plan.

And this year, Santa's coming to my house. And he's got to bring the eats for the in-laws.

So give me ideas and help get me to work.

Photo via Beverly & Pack

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

calm and opaque.

Damn you GRE. You have pushed me over the edge and into the edifice known as carbs. Laughing as I grovel and swell amidst the homemade rolls, chocolate dipped pretzels, and lemon squares that have become my sustenance.

Obsessing over numbers and words has turned into an obsession over sprinkles and yeast. And Clin says that I can't help myself now. Failing practice test over practice test three days before the exam is not going to improve my score.

But that would be giving up.

And Dear Amanda,

you delivered emollient to my soul in the form of John Denver, the Muppets, and a big jar 'o' fudge. Kermit provided a moment of peace. And I am now washing it down with a few chugs of chocolate directly from the mason jar.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my own club...

Um, so I don't have time right now to be in a book club. And I'm not supposed to be reading anything except my GRE book. But I cheated and read this:

and I liked it. A lot.

But you may not. Say, if you're my mom. Or my grandma. You won't like it.

Because this will not be the book club selection of choice in my Utah clubbing circles. (if I had them. circles. or clubs. I mean.)

So this post is my own personal book club. With myself.

The honesty was refreshing. I mean the honesty from a Mormon was refreshing. Mormon's are very honest people. I'm not saying that they aren't. But when it comes to personal thoughts and feelings, we're not all that open. or honest.

And the author, herself, admits openly lying to people as she shares her experiences. So she isn't completely honest either. But she admits things that most Mormons wouldn't. things that I wouldn't admit.

I mean I can't even admit questioning my personal faith without feeling guilty.

But reading her experiences was freeing in the sense that I have always been so anxious about doing things wrong. Upsetting people, authority figures, and God. Like in high school, being tardy to class was anxiety invoking for me. So I began to look at it in the opposite light, I acted like I didn't care about being tardy. I would slow down everything. Walking, socializing, putting things in my backpack. And then if I was tardy, so be it. But it took one extra anxiety producing thought out of my mix. And just doing that calmed me down.

I never doubted, only believed what I was told. Smoking was bad? I shouldn't hang out with other people who smoke. I lost some friends that way. Same for drinking. That was the black and white of my world.

And now I question. I don't believe some of what I used to believe. And I wish that it was okay to talk bout it. To address it. Without feeling judged.

I'm not there yet. But Elna is. And I enjoyed reading about it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

a partridge in a pear tree...

10 final papers to grade,

5 more days to study for the GRE,

3 more days until 14 finals are submitted followed by,

2 more days to grade said finals,

1 CV to update,

and 1 application essay due!

In the midst of all of this, I am pining for John Denver and the Muppets. The only Christmas CD lost to the move.

But I suspect foul play....

why is that the only CD missing?

or was it hidden to torment my yuletide joy?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Remember this? Well break out the eggnog and buy myself a Cafe Rio salad because I was awarded the funding.

And now I get to spend an entire semester gathering, organizing, and molding information into a course about aging and the arts.


as I prefer to call it


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


...about the celebratory mood of last year. Adventing the entire month. Where and how and why did I go to there?

And I kind of miss it. But the only adventing this year is for the GRE. And I get a little giddy every time I think about it. I can't wait. Only because I want it over.

December 19

10 more days to stuff this obtuse brain of mine. (Ha! Take that verbal section. I'm throwing the vocab like a bucolic ascetic oscillating enigmatic dogma.)

And while I've been concerned about the math - last night's practice test proved that I have a few other problems.

I missed 5 out of the 10 verbal section questions. In particular - Antonyms - questions that require you to choose the opposite of a word given to you.

And I trick myself into answering incorrectly almost as often as I trick myself into the correction.

For example - let's take this little practice question (listed under easy, by the way). Okay what is the opposite of:


a. facilitate
b. moderate
c. climb
d. judge
e. assemble

The practice book warns to watch out for questions that are using a secondary definition of the stem word. (Frustrate is the stem here.) I was keeping that in mind when I answered this question. This. very. easy. question. Because I know what every word here means - I should have gotten it right.

I failed.

Now you try. And show me how obtuse my brain really is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

random release...

Shoveling the drive twice within 17 hours is nice inspiration. For a variety of blog posts. Only the second that one pops in my head, it leaves. For warmer weather I suppose.

Like I wanted to post about how I can't stand doing my hair right now. And I was about to write it out in my mind. But it went away. And that ended that.

Or about how Millie called our car a genious. Which it totally is. But I can't recall the circumstance, or story surrounding it.

And then this morning, before shoveling episode #2, my period started. And clarity came.

I thought - oh, I should write about this. But then realized that I always write about the beginning of my period. Why must I force my blog to be my calendar?

And that might be gross. For you. If you're reading. But it's not gross for me. (Remember: blood not gross. Stickers and long nails? Vomit inducing.) I like to talk about it. It's a huge part of who I am. Or I guess in how I act. And perhaps it is my one token form of rebellion. (Or is that the dc?)

Rebellious? How can it be rebellious? Well, when you grow up not swearing, or drinking, or sneaking out, or toilet papering, or skipping class, or whatever your token form of rebellion may be...

But sometimes you just need to shock. For shocks sake. Right? My rebellion of choice has always been complete honesty regarding my cycle. (Okay, and screaming at the parentals -- but that's another story. For a therapist.)

My brothers could share some choice experiences. Kyle in particular. But I see it more as one of my life purposes. I completely prepared them for the realities of womanhood. In fact, they probably have it much nicer now that they are warm and cozy in marriage. Because I know that the sis-in-laws are not leaving surprises in the sink.

And I'm sure the brothers are so thankful for their awesome wives. And I feel like I had a hand in that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Blogging? Ha! Who has time for blogging, when there is eating to be done.

I know - I'm a bit fixated right now. And part of this is cut off due to my blogger template. But I don't have time to change the template right now....I have to go make dinner.

Recipes you need:

Chocolate S'More Pie - Worth it. Really.

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic - Like Candy. Not a marshmallow in sight.

Recipe that I need to try:

Pear Butterscotch Pie

Monday, November 30, 2009


I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. And had it not been for a planned visit from cousin Becky, I would still be there.

Clin would categorize this as PMS. But who knows? I mean I've given up on calendaring these things. And maybe I'm just in a state. Or tired. That would definitely be a label I could wear.

But who isn't?

Maybe it's the four point five day food free-for-all that began Thursday and has not yet declared an end. I can't stop. Right now I'm downing a glass of the DC and graham crackers with a bunch 'o' frosting in the middle. And I'm not satisfied. Seriously, the frosting/graham combination used to be so much better than it is in this moment.

But I did put on a new, old pair of jeans this morning. Size 8. I only own 1 pair of eights. I've only ever owned 1 pair.

Perhaps the one exception could be Brian Rothery's hand me downs that ended up in my college dresser during my boy jean phase. But they were labeled based on that male system that makes no sense. So those can't count.

My eights are considered new because they were only ever worn for a couple of months preceding the pregnancy of 2004. They have lived in the closet since.

So this should be some cause for celebration. For not crawling back into bed.

But I just don't feel it.

*I would like to take this moment to give a shout out to the high I got yesterday from the Ginger Snap bubble bath scent wafting from Ellis's hair. That was nice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

les mizing part 2.

Goodbye high school musical 2009. And what fun. I get to bask in Clin's glory and credit without having to do a thing.

Except show up for the final product. Smile a lot. And sale tickets. And last night ticket sales were the thing.

People lining up at 5:30 pm for a 7:00 pm show?


And a line for tickets before the ticket tables were even in place.

We sold all 1315 seats last night. 4 cases of water. 2 dozen roses. and lots and lots of cookies.

The cast was hyper.

I missed my favorite line: Le Marque is dead.

But I did see the end. And the audience roared in gratitude.

And I say it's great to get to watch the students improve without having any real responsibility for it.

Which means that I just get to sit back and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

les miserables.

Millie and Ellis sat through Clin's High School production this morning.

A middle school matinee. The entire auditorium full. And we were surrounded by adolescents. I expected faculty tossing students out, taking away cell phones, sshhhhh-ing, and all of the above.

But alas. It was not to be. My girls were louder than any students. It was as if the middle schoolers were hypnotized (which says a lot to the production quality - nice work there Clin-0). And I was the only one taking people out.

It wasn't that they were crying, or screaming. But loudly asking questions:

Mom, what is happening?

They're prisoners.

Why is there smoke?

It's fog.

Where's the bad man?

Not on right now. He will be back soon.

Why is she dying?

She is sick.

Mom, it's just pretend dying.

Yes. Just pretend.

Why did that cart fall on that man?

It was an accident.

But why did it fall on him?

I don't know. So the large man could pick it up off of him.

What is happening?

Um....those women are trying to get money from the men.....

Millie: I want to sit on your lap.

Ellis: (pushing) No, get off.

Millie: Everytime I sit my underwear goes up my bum.

That last part was screamed.

And by the end of act 1 all candy/snacks had been devoured and the girls were crying hunger. But again - it was boredom.

Although Millie did sit entranced for most of the 2.5 hours. Particularly fond of Fantine, Javert, Master of the House, and One Day More.

Ellis just liked it when everyone was asleep. On stage.

You're invited to come and like that too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

waking up.

I woke up this morning to a tantrum. Mine.

Entering the kitchen to make the oatmeal, I spotted the pots from dinner last night.

And the food was still in them. Which led to the spontaneous combustion of tears and a few choice words. I'm sure that my daughters will happily recite them for you.

You see, last night I made curry chicken. Really good, new recipe, curry chicken. And it made a lot.

And someone forgot to put it in the refrigerator. I won't name names. No, I won't go that low. But in your family, is it always the responsibility of the cook to do such things?

Well the cook left the food out for the overworked soul who returned home late. And that soul ate. AND had the time and effort to bake cookies. And eat those cookies. Around the pots full of food.

While I worked downstairs.

Normally this would not have caused such a reaction. But I'm on a tight budget. And expecting company. And the leftovers were penciled in for Thursday night dinner.

I boxed up the leftovers and put them in the fridge. Because I cannot bring myself to give them up.

So sorry Mom and Dad. Food poisoning awaits.

photo via BabyDinosaur

Monday, November 16, 2009

putting grant #1 under my belt...

...because I'm done. And submitted. And it feels good.

So now we sit and wait. If I don't get it I will be disappointed. And looking for work. But it won't be as scary next time. I know what to do. And it was exciting.

So exciting that I wanted the girls to join in on the fun by accompanying me to campus Friday to pick up letters of support and get signatures before passing them off to the selection committee.

So please, picture a commuter campus, on a mountain, with lots of young students rushing to class, having to move out of the way of a relatively old woman and her two toddlers, on a very long double stroller, pushing her way up hill through the masses. Not another stroller or toddler in sight.

Skateboards passed us. And Millie thought it most funny to yell out, "Wouldn't it be funny if that building had a bum?" for all to hear. (Clin humor. I don't get it, but 2 and 4 year olds love it.)

3 letter stops later, we make it to the performing arts building, which has no elevator - and thus we abandoned the stroller for stairs. By then, the only words coming out of the small mouths were: I'm hungry. But this was not for lack of food. It was boredom.

Bored? How? We were enjoying nature (snow), and stopped to pick up every leaf in our path (millions), and then there was always the view of the concrete as I focused on pushing our mass up the mountain.

Final stop - copy center for scans and copies of all signatures. Which is where the screaming began. (In my soul.) And then the run to return to the car, where I was sure that a ticket awaited us, because the hike took much longer than the 36 minutes available in the meter.

Hallelujah - no ticket, turned on Lion King and the hungry screams turned to whimpers as we drove to the library for final submission.

And I like to think that the experience was liberating. Because I accomplished it with 2 toddlers in tow. And perhaps they internalized the importance of education in the journey.

But really, they probably only internalized the suckers, dried apples/pears, m&m's, gummy bears, chicken nuggets, and frosties that got them (me) through.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

making a deal.

i know i said not a target my feet shall pass - but i got this for $20.00.

and that price threw me through the doors tied me down and wouldn't let me leave.

so merry christmas millie. i may be more excited about this than you.

you want one for this price?

Use these:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

cooking for one.

I made meatloaf this week. I don't think I've ever made a loaf of meat. What a strange creation.

The recipe called for ground turkey. But I didn't have any. So beef it was. And mushrooms, and fontina cheese.

Um, what is fontina cheese? Right?

So I threw in an Italian Blend.

Fresh Sage. Na, only the dried stuff here.

And then the egg. Not one left in the house. So I left it out. And I left out the bread...because I'm still not going there.

And I thought that the changes would ensure that the loaf would part a la red sea effect. And we would be forced to turn it into taco night.

But it stuck. And was good. Even though ketchup and mustard could not tempt the toddlers to bite.

But it made up for the smoke that filled the house three times this week. And set off the alarm twice. All due to roasting tomatoes. And potatoes. And chicken.

photo via neilbetter

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So I'm not getting paid for the rest of the semester. I should know that, right? That it would all be paid out over the first 2 months rather than 4... But alas, I expect my accountant to deal with these things.

If I had an accountant.

Or a brain.

And I keep seeing all these deals. Like a Mr. Potato Head for a buck. And I have to restrain myself. Physically. As in I'm no longer allowed to leave the house. And the $1 spot at Target? Restricted. Clearance aisle of Wal-Mart? Purgatory.

And here I have one month left of grading, testing, and sending my girls for naps so that I can work, work, work.... and what feels like nothing to show for it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

passing it off.

Millie: Mom, I want that. With lots of clothes. To put on the prince and Sleeping Beauty.

Me: Well, why don't you tell Santa, and maybe he will bring it to you for Christmas.

Millie: Okay! Do you have his cell number?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Listening to the cashier and customer in front of me talk as I loaded the belt with sugar free candy and broccoli, I thought I heard the word marijuana. Not usually the word that pops up when checking out.

And then the two continued. Talking about how hard it is to quit. To stay off of it. And how so many states are legalizing it for medicinal purposes. This continued while my food was scanned and thrown into bags.

Okay. So the two bonded over an important topic to us all. But I couldn't stop staring and thinking how odd. 18 year old cashier and 40 year old mom. In Utah.

More important? They talked through my entire checkout time. Like I was part of the conversation, though I didn't utter a word. If I'm paying for groceries I at least want some attention. From someone. Isn't that part of the purchasing experience?

And then in the car, on the way to the library, I spotted a woman wearing a bonnet. In a normal residential neighborhood.

Just out for a stroll.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


So Millie is totally getting a dollhouse. I mean, all she wants to do is pretend play with her mini dolls. And I know that anything mini would put her over the top.

Any suggestions? Serious - what dollhouse is the best? What are you using? What do you recommend?

While we're at it - what are you getting your two year old girl?

photo via Mr Jan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


so i tried to make up for my lack of pre halloween revelry with a day of mothering perfection.

what does that entail? food. lots and lots of food. as in i made breakfast. for all. pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup.

followed by a quick round of candy land castle.

snack time: candy corn

and an afternoon of making: pumpkin stew (served out of a pumpkin because themes are really important when meeting my mothering expectations), pumpkin hummus, halloween eye of newt, with veggie fingers.

and i forgot to take proof. but it was there.

and the kids were happy. and went scavengering with cousins. and it was the first time that i wasn't stuck home handing out the candy. but watching the girls. actually running from house to house. and shreiking. and millie waiting for ellis. and helping her to the door. and telling cousin caleb, everytime a street crossed their path, that they had to hold hands before crossing. and he agreed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

procrastinating all fun.

So I took a mini blog break this past week. It wasn't intentional. But I've been under the weather. And under deadlines. Which have not yet approached. But I'm really working the focus. One strategy? Bribery.

For example, I am no longer allowed to read books (sorry book clubs) until I'm done with the GRE. I finally set a date and now have a serious month and a half. Of joyless studies. But oh, how sweet December 20th will be when I can pick up a bit 'o' fiction.

My blog isn't the only thing to suffer. Dear, dear Halloween. I thought for sure our girls would experience their first ever carved pumpkin. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Behold our household scare tactic:

Rotting pumpkins.

Monday, October 26, 2009

dividing my time.

So I had every intention of writing lots of really, really interestingly awesome posts this weekend.

I thought about explaining the phenomenon that occurred when a sale, adorableness, whining, and short supply combined to pressure me into purchasing two Halloween costumes instead of the zero that I was planning.

Or the funny sayings that Millie and Ellis threw out Friday night. And in my head I remember saying, I have to get that on the blog. But my head forgot and another moment has been lost to time.

So instead I will tell you that Clin gave me an amazing gift. 9 hours in front of a computer. To write a grant request and grade papers. So that Saturday eve could be spent with my eyes on the TV instead of the computer. Okay, one screen to another. But it's better than most nights when I attempt to take in two screens. At the same time.

photo via dearsomeone

Thursday, October 22, 2009


that I don't know:

--how to cross multiply.

--the Pythagorean theorem.

--how to choose a title for a sample paragraph.

--that three angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees.

--many, many, many words. or roots of words.

This is what the GRE is teaching me.

In other news:

I fed cooked coke to missionaries tonight. And they loved it. And it wasn't the decaffeinated kind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

making the food.

A normal evening prepping the dinner. Singing along to this:

And, as usual, the kids scream for me to stop singing.

Me: But I want to be the monkey.

Millie: You can't be the monkey. You don't have the costume.

So true.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

suspecting a new suspect.

I had reason to suspect. Oh boy did I ever.

When Mr. Furnace showed up, the first thing he said was:

Did you change the batteries?

Um, batteries?

Me, trying to address my stupidity. You know. To make me feel not so stupid: I'm going to feel really stupid if you came all the way out here just to change a battery.

And then he took the thermostat off the wall. No battery.

HA, HA! I don't have to feel stupid. There really is a problem with this thing.

And then he went downstairs to further inspect the furnace.

One second later, the heat came on.

Mr. Furnace: Your furnace switch was off.

Um...okay. Feeling worse about a switch than a battery, I didn't even bring the topic up.

Instead, I let him pretend that he was servicing the furnace. To make the visit seem as if it was worth the $45.00 he was about to charge me.

Monday, October 19, 2009


At times I think that perhaps we have purchased a money pit. Friday night I flashed back to that movie. (Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Man I loved it. You so did too.) Home from a much needed night out, and our garage door crashed to the ground.

It didn't hit anything. But the ground.

Saturday morning we learned that our garage door does not stay up on its own without a working door opener. And I became the early morning opener as Clin drove away to rehearsal. And that door is heav.vy.

Clin slow poked it to the car. And I yelled. Yeah. Unheard of from me. But you would have too. With both hands above my head.

Leave. Get in the car and go. I'm about to vomit.

I should have. I should have let it all out. To help emphasize the weight of that 6:30 AM weekend door.

So I returned to bed to think upon the pit. And noticed a cold. And quiet. As in no heat.

Which launched me from bed to find what I feared. Thermostat blank.

Money pit confirmed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

grossed out.

There is nothing worse than stickers on skin.

(Well, maybe long finger nails.)

But just looking at this picture makes me vomit a little.

Thank goodness the girls have one parent who allows them sticker fun.

Because I cannot go there.


Just posting this.....

makes me want to close my computer.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

breaking for treats.

Oh, the glories of buying groceries with only one child in tow.

And to celebrate, I decided to spend a couple shiny quarters at the deli counter for a delicious beverage of my choosing.

On the way, we just happened to pass the pastry counter with a large plastic container practically throwing chocolate chip cookies into our mouths.

Why thank you! Yes, I will take one for my child. None for me. No, I'm saving space for the refreshing nectar that will soon be flowing from a red and
white cup.

Ready to behold my reflection in the dark liquid smiling at me through the plastic lid, anticipating the touch of red straw to lips, we approached the counter with one hopeful and one chocolate smile.

And as the attendant smiled in return and walked toward me we were interrupted. By an older woman. Smiling as well. And I thought:

Yes. She is looking forward to the solitude of shopping while sipping from a straw as well.

So I didn't mind the interruption. I could wait two more minutes for refreshment.

The woman proceeded to say to the attendant:

I would like to thank you for offering caffeine free drinks at the fountain.
And she walked away. She didn't even wait for a reply. And perhaps I should have taken it as a hint. That I too should walk away. But I didn't. I handed over my coins. Even took the time to search for pennies and give exact change.

But I was going to enjoy my sweet, sweet trip down the aisle. I mean what's better than a child with cookie and a woman with diet joy? Nothing, I argue.

And I wondered, what timing? And if this ever happens to people in other states? I mean, what are the odds?

photo via williamhartz

Monday, October 12, 2009

the chaperone.

i spent my weekend as a chaperone. lurking and listening. ready to pounce the second something went wrong, or someone left their room.

reminding everyone:
to whisper,
close doors softly,
walk down halls,
and again,
so the older couple on our floor weren't disturbed.

they were disturbed. 50 teenagers do not understand the meaning of whisper. neither does clin.

but it's fun watching them succeed. and learn. and react. and cry.

and i feel invested. and it's really nice to get to know them. and that's the best part.

photo via erjkprunczyk

Friday, October 9, 2009


...that i shouldn't have given clin's student the receipt from IKEA for the purchase of 18 chairs to be used at the high school. because here it is 11:48 pm and i'm just learning that said student did not give said receipt to said husband.

...that IKEA is very family friendly, thank you for watching my girls so that i could purchase 18 chairs. but not very teacher friendly. because they will not take school checks. or tax exempt forms without the actual teacher and the actual teacher i.d. all on the premises. at the same time.

...that i didn't get enough time to think of vaccinating my girls for H1N1 and did it in a rash decision. i hope said decision was right.

...that i'm tired of leaving my daughters home. without me. two weekends in a row. did i just say that? let it be known that i did. and i meant it.

...that shakespeare can be very boring. very, very, boring.

...and that i think morrie was much more interesting than the book. or the author. (oh, come on, he totally made that book about himself. admit it.) and i hope the play makes up for it. but i doubt that it will.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

lovin' preschool!

Finally. We have been waiting a month for this to begin.

Why so tardy? The HS students needed to get their lesson plans ready. because this is a class within a class.

And Millie woke up this morning hyper and excited to get dressed. When does that happen?


She got in the car more than happy to tell me that she painted. AND that paint sparkles. We stood in the sun for a good five minutes staring at the shine.

And they did a lot today: paint, search oatmeal for animals, play outside, practice their writing, snack on apples, create a book, and on, and on.

So here we were on an educational high. Until Clin came home.

And reported that a couple of his students just happen to be part of Millie's teaching staff. Evidently Millie was sullen for two hours. Not even compliments on her pink pocka-dotted leggings cracked a smile.

So. Tell me. Can you figure that one out?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

writing letters.

Dear brown jasmine rice - what does it take to remove your crunch? Two hours should be enough. Right?

Dear naysayers (Clin) - this recipe rocked. Free of glutten, meat, and dairy. It was awe.some. And you have to admit it.

Dear everyone - you should watch Oprah today. Because it's gonna be good. Word is that she will be appearing. And because it's Oprah.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

and checking it twice...

Kate Nash Made of Bricks - thank you Pandora for introducing us.

and before i forget, let's add this to the list.

but maybe not every song. because i wouldn't want to have to hide my happy music from sensitive ears...clin.

so let's just try these:

*Foundations - um, okay. i'll have to hide this one. but i'll keep it to myself. (for a clean version video, go here.)
*We Get On
Pumpkin Song
*Skeleton Song
Nicest Thing
*Merry Happy - and this is my favorite. i really like it when she sings, eating cheese on toast.

Go here to listen. I've * my favs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

making a list...

Dear Clin,

I know that I said my dream Christmas gift would be that we don't exchange gifts and instead use the money for getting ahead in life. Like reducing debt, or just add on to savings.

But then I saw something today that I kind of need. Eventually.

And since you never actually go for my idealistic Christmas - then at least go for practicality.

Love and Sensibility-


Friday, October 2, 2009

thanking NPR

for introducing me to this little life experience:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

replacing someone.

To all of you who are planning on a move,

Important tip: Make sure that you purchase a house from people that no one in the neighborhood likes. That way everyone will love you when you move in.

We made the mistake of purchasing a house from a family that everyone likes. No, everyone LOVES.

Which wouldn't be that bad, except this particular family still lives in the area. They moved far enough away that no one sees them on a daily basis, but they still throw neighborhood barbecues. And their children still go to the same school.

So they are loved. And if they had moved to a different state, then they would only be a memory of love. But here they are living the love and all we do is hear about it.

Mr. Love helped us put up shelves in our garage.

Mrs. Love coordinated a cruise for 8 different couples in the neighborhood.

Mr. Love was a marathon runner. Do you run?

We were just at the Loves' new house for a barbecue. They are wonderful.

Where do you live? Oh! The Loves' old place. I love the Loves!

We just can't live up to the expectations.

Yeah. So we are not handy enough to put up shelves. That is why we purchased this house. Because the Loves had it done.

Cruise? With neighbors? If we had the funds, we'd prefer family. It's true.

Running? My feet barely know how to walk.

Barbecue....we hide inside whenever we see a neighbor. That way we don't have to remember names. Or say hi. Or get out of our comfort zone.

So. Our poor neighborhood did not get an upgrade when we moved in.

Learn from our mistakes, my friends. Purchase from the most hated neighbors and you won't disappoint.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

snacking a conversation at the target.

While sipping on some diet yum and icees, a group of women sat behind us.

The group consisted of a grandma, mother, and her daughter. But the grandmother was old. As in, my grandmothers age. right now. if she was living.

Grandma had an interesting tick, as in she coughed frequently.

After a few rounds of this, Millie yelled very loudly:

Old people...(long pause)...old people...(long pause)...when people are old that means they cough.

In response, trying to assure our neighbors that we are not of the ageist sort chez our table, all I could think to scream in response:

Not necessarily.

And then on to a new topic.

I don't think it worked though. Because the women became pretty quiet.

And then grandma coughed.


photo via soylentgreen23

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

biased again.

I'm not sure. Perhaps this has come up before. But I would like to admit it again.

I don't like beautiful women. I just don't.

I realize that those of you who I do like are now re-evaluating our friendship, thinking that I just called you ugly. But no. I'm not talking about your down to earth beauty (which I find to be the most attractive.)

I'm talking about those women who are so beautiful that you can't stop staring. Wondering which lab and who they were cloned from?

Have you ever noticed that they seem to congregate together?

I just saw four. Walking, sitting, and clinging to one another.

All in heels and makeup with long, loosely curled hair and banana republic looking dresses. Actually something more than the republic. Only I don't know what it would be.

And I was completely put off. I knew that I didn't like them. Because:

  1. They were all together. And the word that came to mind was clique - having no desire to interact with those of us of normal caliber.

  2. They looked perfect. Per.fect. Really. Who has time for that? I don't. And I guess it's about values. I don't value spending time on such things. Me? I value reading, or working, or sleep. Okay. I really just value sleep.

  3. Who has money to spend on that? Nude shoes that match a nude dress? How often does one wear nude heels? Money spent on matching bags and matching makeup and keeping that hair blond. Um, I tried blond once and I know about upkeep. Never again. A bit of insanity goes into that. I would rather spend my money on bills, dirt, ballet classes or a PhD application.

So why am I sharing this? Because I thought it. And I am biased. And I know that's mean. I don't think it will ever go away. But admitting it kind of makes me feel better.

photo via Tammy Manet

Monday, September 28, 2009


Millie dipped her hair in the toilet today. And it had not been flushed.

She tried to hide it. But I walked by and she was making strange motions with her hands over the toilet, as though conjuring some spell from the bowels of a cauldron.

Why? Why? Other than a vicious desire to get sick?

I want a shower.

So it was my fault. Because a few weeks ago, we had a dipping incident, and my solution was to toss her in the shower.

And she connected the two.

What a fun connection. Don't you think?

photo via pequeña esquimal

Friday, September 25, 2009

loving this.

Maybe, just maybe, if football was more like this I would enjoy it.

Thank you Glee.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

in a pattern...

...that consists of this:

  1. 4 year old disappears

  2. and is found sitting in closet with door closed

  3. multiple times in one day.

  4. screaming for mom to wipe when

  5. underwear needs to be cleaned out.

  6. waking multiple times throughout the night

  7. to again wipe up the screams.

  8. and emergencies similar to this occurring at the store, or library, or dance, or [choose your own adventure and place it here.]

Yesterday, in an attempt to end the cycle, we spent all day on time out. Not any old time out, but pooping time out. Where the offender spends a day in a toy-less room until success.

And treasures of movies, treats, library, hot dogs, and bike rides were laid out before the prisoner in an attempt to hurry up this process.

Eight hours later, success. And a trip to the library, with hot dogs for dinner.

But I will admit. It felt like prison for all. And we are cherishing our current freedom until the cycle picks up. again.

photo via 'smil

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

reading you.

Do you ever read blogs and leave them feeling like an awful, horrible, person, mom?

If you answer no, then you are not human. And I think you're lying.


I do.

Because today I left each blog a worse person than the one who entered.

And I hope that I never do that. Let you leave feeling worse than you did when you started reading. I want you to say:

Thank goodness. At least I'm not her. I will always be one parenting step above. I've got my act together, and my rockin' mom skilz workin' it in comparison.
And I think that shall be my gift to the world. Maybe not the gift to my children. But to the world? Yes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

up a hill..

This bike was purchased for birthday #4. Back in April.

Yesterday. 9/21/09 was the first day that she sat on it longer than 2 seconds.

And after 2 jaunts down this sidewalk, all she wanted was to go longer. While I walked behind her pushing Ellis in a stroller.

But we live on a hill. And for one who can barely pedal at a downward angle, I did not see us going up anytime soon.

But with enough demanding, I caved. Up hill we went.

And we went around the block. All were happy. Until we reached the top of the hill and were ready to go down. That is when the tears erupted, in loud exclamations of poopy pants, and hating helmets.

I finally got her back on the bike, and within 3 houses of home, she practically rode into an intersection before throwing herself onto the curb. And then we walked home.

through scrapes and screams.

Monday, September 21, 2009

reminding you. just in case you forgot...

and almost caused marital strife due to someone's fast finger on the remote's forward button last night.

because i made clin watch every NPH second of the emmys. and oh so fun.

p.s. john cryer???? over NPH??? come on. what is the world coming to.

Friday, September 18, 2009

saving me some money!

You ever seen 40 pounds of chicken?

Lucky you. Today is your day!

And this is 40 pounds of chicken packaged and ready for my freezer.

Guess what's for dinner?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


There's very little that gets my heart excited. Moving.


I am that immobile.

But every once in awhile something will come up and make me beat. Constantly. So much so that I obsess. Just a bit. To the point that I can't think of much else.

Remember in high school? When escaping the boredom of one more hour and drifting into that place where you imagine the boy you like calling. Or telling your friend something about you. And just the fact that your name passed his lips can give you ecstatic, skipping happies to fill the rest of the class.


in church, when your thoughts created a new reality. Like passing out as you were walking in front of the congregation. And a heart flutter inducing boy takes charge and comes to your rescue. Either involving CPR or lifting you with bulging arms, veins, and back to secure safety.

I just don' t have much need for such day dreams anymore. And I'm okay with that. Because now I have reality, which is better.

But every once in awhile my heart will jump, and I will look forward to something. Nothing to do with boys. But here I am embarrassed to admit what it is. Because my skips stalled last night. And that's okay. Because that is reality.

photo via Gabriela Camerotti

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

in the fog of a hangover.

Dear Me,

Please take note, the next time you decide to hold a 2:00 AM grading session, the headache you felt when a 2 year old lobbed a bucket of sidewalk chalk at your head.

Her timing must be genetic, although skipping a generation, because it took you right back to the water, trumpets, and grate scraping that marked the mornings of your youth.

And you don't want to relive that again. Do you?


photo via stevendepolo

Monday, September 14, 2009

inactive, observant, and foreshadowing.

today. we went to the park. for pooping. not at the park. but in honor of the act at home. But that's another story.

a group of kids were playing together, parents meeting to socialize. kids meeting to play.

my girls were the only others on the play equipment.

as i helped ellis climb a mountain, i heard the group of kids asking millie her name. and she wouldn't tell them. i couldn't hear exactly what they were saying in return, but sat down to listen, because it sounded negative. and i wanted to see what millie would do.

then i heard millie say: my grandmother paints my toenails.

a response, and then millie: what. ever.

then the boys went for it: WHAT EVER. What is your name? If you don't tell me your name, then I'm going to poison you.

millie just stood and looked at them. but didn't show anything on her face.

boys: what is your name? you're dumb.

i was ready to jump in. but millie didn't seem scared, or worried, or sad. just stood there.

and that made me sad.

then the boys and 1 girl approached her. and got in her face. What is your name?

and she didn't even move. she was frozen. frozen. and i couldn't understand, but tried to figure out what was going on in her mind.

just as i was about to approach, the smallest girl in the group walked up and stood next to millie. then she put her arm around millie. and millie didn't budge. but neither did the small girl. and they both stood frozen together.

facing the onslaught.

it wasn't until i suggested the swings that millie responded to anyone. and so did the small girl. and we walked away.

and i was happy that millie didn't get mad. or outwardly sad.

i hope that she saw what i saw.

i tried to explain

but only time will tell

which group she chooses to befriend.

Friday, September 11, 2009


everything about this movie.

really. thank you non-linear stories about non-linear love.

and this movie makes everything look beautiful. even L.A. so much so that for the first part i kept thinking it was set in NY. because that is the city of cool movie coolness and beauty.

but they transplanted NY happy into an LA state of beauty. and made the two leads my best friends. okay, not really. but they did make me like them. more than i should.

so much so, that i want bangs. and dresses. just like these.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I'd like to say that Martha made me do it. And she did. Kind of. Or at least one of the magazines in her empire did.

The recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes. And there they were. All orange, and imperfect. And the word heirloom kind of draws you in. Doesn't it?

Assuming they couldn't be much more than all the other tomatoes in the aisle, I picked a large one. Thinking that I could save money by only getting one and throwing regular, old, reddies in with the beaut.

So I didn't pay attention at checkout, because the hoodlums were climbing on top of the car grocery cart, throwing flip flops at customers, screaming, and pulling at anything they could get their hands on.

And now. As I look at the receipt. Martha can be blamed. For the college educations, retirement, and fortunes that fade from our future.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

beyond excited

for when i can save my pennies and jam.

Best idea ever. And I hope they make lots of money from it.
Because I think it will be worth the price.

completely recommending...

being someone who doesn't enjoy animals, i do not get excited about movies that include them as prominent characters. which left me pleasantly surprised when i LOVED this movie.


i was depressed when this book ended. because it was really good. and there is nothing better than a fabulous book that keeps you reading until 2 in the AM.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

listening and learning.


i'm sitting down with a 2 year old.

and a 4 year old.

and I'm watching this.

because even though they aren't yet in school, they will be. and i believe that the message to work hard and never give up is good. positive.

and sometimes hearing it from someone other than mom and dad can inspire.

and my girls will probably wrestle through the entire thing. but maybe, just maybe, they will hear something about the importance of education, hard work, and personal responsibility.

and those are universal truths, important for all.

and i hope that they remember.

photo via mrsrichardson823

Monday, September 7, 2009


I must have looked frazzled. And I will admit that Millie looked like she had been rolling around in a dust bin.

Thinking it would be a nice family outing to the store. You know, the one where the girls each get their own mini grocery cart, and each parent guides one to different items. Divide, conquer, in, and out.

Once in the 15 items or less lane, I remember the deli meat that I had a coupon for. Which was supposed to be free. And thinking this was worth it, I left Clin, the carts, the girls, and the food for meat.

I return as Millie attempts to shower the conveyor belt with candy, Ellis clambers for daddy, and then Millie's showering erupts into screams. I take the girls and wait for Clin to pay.

That is when all conquering came to an abrupt stop. The cashier laughs at my coupons, saying I can't use a buy one get one free, when they are already buy one get one free. So then I say I don't want the meat.

And the girls are pushing their carts full of bags in circles, bumping customers. And Ellis laughs. And Millie cries.

Upon closer look at the bags, someone purchased lime flavored mayonnaise and jalapenos. Neither on the shopping list. Clin is the first to claim innocence. But he was the one with the wallet. And as he returns the items...

The woman who was behind us in line approaches:

Woman: Are you okay?

Me: (now thinking that I must look really angry, or frazzled, or desperate, or like a dust bin) oh, yes. fine. we just brought the girls shopping too late in the day.

Woman: Oh, we are doing the same.

Although I don't see any children with her.

Woman: I wanted to tell you that there is a co-op, where you can go to get food once a month. And it is half off.

And she gave me the website.

I didn't say a word. Only to think that if I nod long enough she will go away. Because I'm sure we wouldn't qualify for a co-op. Nor do we need one.

But our daughters did look harried. It was 7:00 PM, and dinner had not yet been served.

As I usher the girls out to put away the carts, the woman returns.

Woman: I was also thinking...we have a peach orchard. Not large, but I don't sell them and we never eat them all. You could come and take them for free. Do you can?

Me: Uh, sometimes.

Although not really. I didn't truly lie because once I canned peaches with Clin's Mom. But it was only once. And not by myself.

Now I was just trying to nod and answer questions as quickly as would allow this situation to pass.

Woman: Well, where do you live? Can I contact you? I just live behind this store.

So I wrote down her name and number. Clin returned, the crying returned, and we were on our way.

I wish that I could have said, we are fine. really. our cupboards are full. and you are generous. i am just a cheap woman who really likes a deal. and attempts to use coupons when I'm told they work.

But what do you say to someone who is trying to help?

I am beyond.



Sunday, September 6, 2009

celebrating his 34th.

Happy birthday Clin-

For you I pledge to not be annoyed, or rather, not share such annoyances with you all day long. Because I'm selfless like that. Right? But feel free to be annoyed with me. Because I kind of deserve it right now. And you should tell me all about it too. That would make me feel better.

And yesterday, my gift was breaking my personal goal and eating:


bread, and

pound cake, strawberries, brownies, rice krispy treats, marshmallows, cheesecake and bananas all dipped in cookies and cream chocolate fondue.

It was good. But it hurt.

All for you.

Happy Birthday.

Thanks for being a year older with me. Really. I love it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

married to a teacher.

and i like that. because i like his students. and the theatre program that he works with. and i like to hear about it, and help....sometimes.

but i don't help often. and i feel a nuissance at times. because we don't agree on things. so i listen. but that's it. mostly.

he's layed back. and i'm not.

and then i think about our kids. and what i want for them. and it takes money. and that makes me want to work.

and that brings me back to school.

photo via jaako

Thursday, September 3, 2009


to go back to school.


i want a doctor before my name. if not for any reason other than to tell clin that he has to refer to me as doctor...

and i think it would be fun.

you know. when you get a thought and your stomach goes all giddy? that is me. giddy 'ol me. lately. everytime i think about getting some aloneness in a quiet room, overflowing with stacks and stacks of books. ruminating in my own thoughts. and taking time to do it.

and there are lots of reasons to go to that place.

+ grant money that, if accepted, could afford me a degree with little or no debt on my part.

+ distance program to enable me to work from home. while the girlies pull and scream at my elbows.

+ secure my position teaching online.

+ future in teaching/research more of a possibility.

and a few negatives. too.

- program is in nursing. and i don't want to study geriatrics. but possibility they could let me stretch my degree to cover my interests.

- i have to re-take the GRE. and my math skills stink.

- kiddies at home. still. as in, not in school. yet. which equals pulling and screaming at my elbow.

- clin not so supportive of the timing. but it's about me. right?

But there's so much more behind this. personal, cultural, economic and social influences.

what would you do?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

selfish. again.

Um. I know. I have a problem. But they were on sale. A really good sale. So I bought.

And then got home and realized that I didn't even buy one case for Clin.

It being his birthday month and all.

I feel guilty. About my continually forgetting. everyone but me.

And now that I re-read yesterdays post it sounds like I'm taking pride in my generic, boring, low-maintenance ways.

I'm not.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

up to the task.

You know those movies where kids are raised in an environment of whimsy and joy? One where their days center around pure imagination? And the mother goes with it. Just knows what to say to take her kids away from reality and into perfection.

I know someone like that. Who can turn life into marshmallow fluffy goodness.

Sometimes I think that if I really put forth the effort. Really focused on the task, that I, too, could create a world of rainbows, lions, candy coated leaves, giant ants, and happy.

But I don't. I'm just selfish like that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

updating the bun.

and updating you.

we've created 2 buns. two.

Bun #1 caused whailing and knashing of teeth. which could only be remedied by a spray or two of hairspray under the guise of medicine.

Bun #2 caused sheer and utter joy of such that the eyes could not be pulled from the mirror. even when bribed.

but as soon as the toes touch the dance floor, our ballerina turns into an animal clinging to its kill. and i, the kill, look ridiculous as i try to convince her desire to the world.

so i run away. leaving as she stares out the window at me. weeping as if abandoned.

and i return to a dancing fiend. until i'm seen.

and then the shoes come off. and so does the smile.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


so you have probably seen this. and we all know the song. but i love it. and slow poke me just made the regina spektor connection.

but i would like to suggest that this is one major example why mtv should be playing videos.

and yes. i do watch mtv. sometimes. i mean, 16 and pregnant? come on. who could miss that?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


and these are my thoughts:

i'm sorry if i was mean to you growing up. i know that sometimes i really was mean to people. but a lot of times i also just didn't talk to you. right? it wasn't because i didn't like you. it was because i assumed that you didn't like me. so i kept quiet. because then i wouldn't have to be judged anymore than i already knew you were judging me. now i realize that people who are quiet can also seem to be stuck up. or mean. or not to care. but i really did care. just couldn't show it. because then your rejection wouldn't hurt so much.

photo via z1784

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

writing a letter.

Dear insurance company,

I realize that you are trying to earn money. and save it at the same time. but i want to know why you can't just pay for laser surgery. on my eyes. it's expensive. for me too. but wouldn't you save a ton 'o' money in the long run if you didn't have to pay for my yearly exams? and glasses or contacts? and isn't health care supposed to be about making life better for the individual?

So if my eyes were healed. i would still pay you for the insurance. but i would go to the eye doctor less. and so that money i'm paying you? would stay with you. you wouldn't be at the mercy of some crazy doc who recommends crazy things.

like glasses.


you could just watch those green bills pile up in your large vaults. of bills.

sure, the docs would have less clients. but who cares about them. right? this is between you and me. and it sounds pretty win, win for us both.

think about it. let me know.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

writing on a Saturday night...but posting now.

except that my post just got deleted. and it was great. i mean really great. the type that plagiarists are made from.

but now gone. forever. inspired by this little jiffy of a movie. and i'm sad because you'll never understand how i felt coming home from it.

and neither will i. because my memory is exactly that long. no more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

ready for a scream.

I'm about to attempt this:

on the child who refuses comb and hair to touch.

I wouldn't walk into these depths....but a trial ballet course beckons.

We shall see if it is worth the fuss.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


and cooking. a. lot.

we can't eat out as much. because my job went down by 1/2. and we moved. and i'm not eating the sugar. so meal plans and weekly shopping lists have become my norm.

i can't cook through an entire meal without some diet coke and a bit of npr. if i drank wine, i'm sure it would be a bottle a night. because there is joy in the slice and heat if i can sip my way through. if not, i'm miserable and tired.

millie and ellis don't seem to enjoy my home cooked meals, unless they consist of chicken nuggets and hot dogs. clin has been pretty positive. until monday. cumin chicken topped with a radish and watercress salad did not excite. either of us.

but then we ate. and learned that lemon juice completely takes the bite out of radishes. and avocados can make the most un-appetizing looking watercress taste divinely fresh. yeah for success.

so last night i had high hopes for gazpacho drizzled in olive oil. with a bit of rustic country bread on the side to hook the sugar-ites of the family.

i assumed that two weeks without sugar would turn me into a gazpacho loving fiend. new tastes to replace the old. you know?

it didn't work. an enemy to gazpacho will i forever be. i couldn't even finish the bowl. and allowed millie and ellis to follow suit.

thank goodness for leftover diet coke and a platter of cheese....and the scent of rustic breadiness.